Tattooed Tipsarevic eliminates Hewitt in 1st round


Tattooed Tipsarevic eliminates Hewitt in 1st round

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) His heavily tattoed arms include one in Japanese that says, ``Beauty Will Save the World.''

No. 8-ranked Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia says his wife has barred him from getting more - and he listens to her because his rise through the rankings started when they married in 2010.

``Honestly, I don't know why but from the moment I got married I started producing great results,'' Tipsarevic said during a humorous on-court interview after beating Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (4), 7-5, 6-3 in the first-round of the Australian Open on Monday.

Hewitt's first-round exit brought an abrupt halt to his long-running effort to end a drought for Australian men at Melbourne Park dating back to 1976. He has played a record 17 consecutive Australian Opens and was cheered on by a packed center court crowd that chanted his name: ``Let's go Lleyton, let's go!''

The 3-hour, 2-minute match was filled with exciting points and fast-paced scrambling on both sides of the net. It tipped in Tipsarevic's favor during the second set when he was a double break down but powered back aided by big serves to win.

``He's such a good ball striker. Even when I did attack he came up with some unbelievable passing shots,'' said the former No. 1-ranked Hewitt, and winner of 2001 U.S. Open and 2002 Wimbledon. ``His scrambling and passing shots from out of position were exceptional tonight.''

Known for his towering self-confidence, Hewitt's post-match comments were more humble than a day earlier. When asked Sunday if he felt unlucky to have drawn the No. 8 seed in the first round, Hewitt replied with typical bravado: ``I don't care. I'll knock him off, try to take his spot in the draw.''

For now, the Serbian's spot in the draw is secure. He was elated by his win, saying he had expected a tough match from Hewitt but was stunned by his stamina.

``It's really amazing. I mean, the guy had so many injuries, and he is turning 32 this year, and the balls that he's making you play just to finish the point!'' said Tipsarevic, a U.S. Open quarterfinalist last year. ``I really needed to produce some extraordinary tennis.''

Tipsarevic turned pro in 2002 and was ranked 46 when he married Serbian TV host, Biljana Sesevic, in July 2010. Coincidentally or not, from then on he steadily climbed the rankings, breaking into the top 10 in Nov 2011 and has remained ever since.

Asked about the body art on his arms, he said he has six tattoos and doesn't regret any but is taking a break.

``I am currently on an embargo from my wife not allowing me to do any more,'' he said.

He faces Lukas Lacko in the second round, after the Slovak defeated Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (3).


GOLD, BABY: If all her money just vanishes one day, Venus Williams can always cash in on her Olympic gold medals.

``I have hid them in a sack,'' she said with a smile, when asked where she keeps all her medals. ``One day if I become a statistic and I lose all my money, then I have to melt all the gold off.''

Joking aside, Williams has won four gold medals, including three from winning women's doubles alongside sister Serena at the 2012 London Olympics, the 2008 Beijing Games and 2000 Sydney Games. In Sydney she also won the singles tournament.

But it's the most recent one from London that helped lift her spirits.

Williams took a seven-month break from tennis after being diagnosed in 2011 with an autoimmune disease that can cause fatigue. She returned to tennis in March and went on to win the Wimbledon doubles trophy followed by her latest Olympic medal.

``Gold, gold, gold, baby. So you know, that was awesome,'' Williams said after advancing to the second round with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan.

At 32, she's not talking about retirement yet but once she quits tennis she knows what she does not want to do.

``Hopefully, like I said, I won't run out of money and have to commentate,'' she said, again laughing. ``But if I do, I will be commentating.''

Her 18 years in tennis have built up a decent nest egg of $28.5 million in career prize money.


COMEBACK TRAIL: Sam Querrey is the highest-ranked - and only seeded - American man at the Australian Open this year, but he doesn't think of himself as the leader of the U.S. team.

World No. 13 John Isner would have been the highest-ranked American in Melbourne, but he had to pull out with bone bruising in his right knee, leaving No. 22 Querrey as the Americans' top player in the men's draw.

``Serena's probably the real leader,'' Querrey quipped after his 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 first-round win over Spanish qualifier Daniel Munoz-De La Nava on Monday.

``I'm cheering for the other guys and they're cheering for me so we're all in it together, but I don't feel like too much of a leader.''

A year ago, Querrey was just happy to get into the Australian Open without having to play the qualifying tournament. An injury to his right elbow led to surgery that sidelined him for months in 2011, causing his ranking to fall to No. 125. He lost in the second round in Melbourne last year to Australian Bernard Tomic.

Querrey has spent the past year and a half trying to climb back up the rankings, playing several second-tier Challenger events to earn back points he lost.

His next opponent in Melbourne is another American on the comeback trail - Brian Baker. The 27-year-old Baker also had surgery on his right elbow, in February 2008, one of five major operations he underwent over a six-year span. Baker started 2012 ranked No. 456 in the world; by the end of the year, he was up to 61st.

Querrey and Baker have only played each other once - at a Challenger event in Sarasota, Florida, last April. Querrey won that match in three sets.

``We've both sort of come a long way since then,'' Querrey said.


Associated Press writer Justin Bergman contributed to this report.

College Football 2019 Week 4 What to Watch: State bragging rights

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College Football 2019 Week 4 What to Watch: State bragging rights

In terms of local action, Week 4 is a little bit of a down week. Maryland and Penn State are both on bye weeks before their big matchup on Sept. 27. Navy and Virginia Tech also have the week off as well. But fear not! There is still plenty of college football to watch without your beloved Terps, Lions, Midshipmen or Hokies. Virginia hosts in-state rival Old Dominion and there is some big-time college football down south.

Here is a breakdown of all the local action.

No. 21 Virginia vs. Old Dominion

When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va.
How to watch: ESPN2

The Cavaliers host Old Dominion in the first-ever meeting between these two programs. After narrowly escaping with a win over Florida State, Virginia remains perfect with a 3-0 record and already two conference wins. Because of that, the Cavaliers now sit ranked 21st in the nation, the highest the team has been ranked since 2007. Now the task before them is to not stumble or get caught looking ahead to next week's matchup at Notre Dame because the Monarchs love surprising the bigger in-state programs. Just ask Virginia Tech.

Game of the week: No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 7 Notre Dame

When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga.
How to watch: CBS

In 2018, Notre Dame was a playoff team. Georgia was not. Ask anyone in Athens, however, and they will tell you the Bulldogs were the better team and deserved to be in over the Irish. Whether they are right is debatable. Notre Dame entered the playoff undefeated but was embarrassed by Clemson in a 30-3 romp in the Cotton Bowl. That loss certainly looks less embarrassing than it did initially after the Tigers blew apart Alabama in the National Championship, but that does little to comfort Georgia fans.

Luckily, this year offers Georgia the chance for revenge as the Irish travel to Athens in one of the biggest games of the college football season

Georgia comes into this game with something to prove. Not only do they want to show who the better program is after last year's perceived snub, but they also want to reassert themselves as one of the top teams in the nation. With Alabama dealing with injuries and Clemson's schedule leaving much to be desired, there is room for the Bulldogs to insert themselves into the conversation for the top team in the nation.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has a chance to topple our preconceived notions about the dominance of the SEC's top teams and to reassert themselves into the playoff race. Georgia is easily Notre Dame's toughest game. There is no reason the Irish can't go undefeated if they win on Saturday and a win over the Bulldogs in Georgia would be a pretty nice feather in the cap for any playoff resume.

On NBC Sports Washington

Wake Forest vs. Elon

When: 12 p.m.
Where: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

North Carolina vs. Appalachian State

When: 3:30 p.m.
Where: Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, N.C.
How to watch: NBC Sports Washington

Other local teams

Morgan State at Army, 12 p.m. Saturday on CBSSN
Robert Morris at VMI, 1:30 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Howard at Delaware State, 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Norfolk State at Montana State, 3 p.m. Saturday
James Madison at Chattanooga, 4 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
William & Mary at East Carolina, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3
Hampton at Liberty, 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN+
Villanova at Towson, 6 p.m. Saturday

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Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne named 2019 WNBA MVP for the second time following historic season

Elena Delle Donne has done it again.

For the second time in her career, the Washington Mystics' star has been named the WNBA MVP, Monumental Sports announced Thursday.

Delle Donne is the first WNBA player to earn the prestigious award with two teams, her 2015 honor while with the Chicago Sky.

“I would like to thank my teammates and coaches and our wonderful fans--I have the greatest teammates in the world, our coaches have put us in a position to succeed by forming this awesome unit and the energy of our fans has given us the best home-court atmosphere in the league,” Delle Donne said in the statement.

“Everyone has had a part in this, especially my wife and family, and it took a lot of hard work and focus from all of us together to get to this point.  I am extremely proud of this honor, but we still have work ahead of us and we’re all focused playing our hardest to bring a championship to Washington.”

During her 2019 season with the Mystics, Delle Donne averaged 19.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists, securing her spot on the All-Star team for the sixth time. Her most unbelievable feat, however, was becoming the first WNBA player to join the prestigious 50/40/90 club.

Delle Donne earned 51.5 percent from the field, 43.03 percent from beyond the arc and an incredible 97.4 percent from the free-throw line.

Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Larry Bird, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Mark Nowitzki and Malcolm Brogdon are the only players in the history of the NBA to accomplish that feat.

The Mystics look for another win Thursday night en route to a Championship against the Las Vegas Aces for Game 2 of the WNBA Semifinals at 8:30 p.m.

You can watch the game on ESPN 2.